The Supreme Court today said it will continue to monitor the probe into the Muzaffarnagar riots and relief and rehabilitation work in violence-hit areas till the end and asked the Uttar Pradesh government to file report on steps taken by it.
A bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam said it is aware about the prevailing situation and will pass direction if required. It also directed that a PIL pending in the Allahabad High Court be transferred to the apex court. "We are not closing the writ petition. Till the end we will monitor the development. We are not passing the final order," the bench, also comprising justices Ranjana Prakash Desai and Ranjan Gogoi, said.
Meanwhile, the Centre and the state government were seen supporting each other during the hearing of the case. The Centre assured the bench that it is committed to provide all assistance to the state government. "I am making an unconditional statement that whatsoever is needed by the state government, whether it is a financial assistance or security personnel, will be provided by the Centre," Attorney General G E Vahanvati said.
"No blame game on this. It is a human tragedy and we have to move forward," he submitted. The court after hearing the arguments of the Centre, state government and the petitioners listed the case for hearing on September 26. The bench, which gave patient hearing to advocates, however, warned them that they should not file petitions and applications just for the sake of filing.
It said if they are really interested in restoring communal harmony, they should try to help the victims and not indulge in publicity. "Are you here really for helping the affected families or merely for publicity? How many writ petitions and applications we will go into," the bench asked when one or the other lawyers were making submission.
Advocate M L Sharma, who in recent times has filed several PILs, raised the issue of bias against the authorities in providing relief and compensation to the victims of the communal clash. He said both the Centre and the state government are only concerned about a particular community and FIRs have not been registered against them. "We are aware that the state government has not furnished details about the number of FIRs and since the matter is before us we will know about development after September 16," the bench said.
It said it would not allow more pleas and those having any grievance can make representation to the counsel for Uttar Pradesh, who are appearing in the case. The apex court had earlier directed the Uttar Pradesh government to take immediate steps in association with the Centre to bring under control the communal violence in Muzaffarnagar and ensure safe passage to people stranded in the disturbed zone.
The court was hearing PILs filed by a group of residents of riots-affected areas and Supreme Court Bar Association for a CBI inquiry into the incident. They pleaded that the affected persons should be properly rehabilitated and the culprits behind the violence be brought to book.